SURVEY OF EUROPEAN ENTERPRISES IN SOUTH AFRICA

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC) conducted a 

survey of European enterprises in South Africa in the period February-June 2013. The 

survey includes member companies and other enterprises active in the South African 

market. The following participated in the survey:

 Austria : 13 companies,

 Denmark : 6 companies,

 Finland : 3 companies,

 France : 22 companies,

 Germany : 95 companies,

 Italy : 9 companies,

 Netherlands : 15 companies and

 Sweden : 1 company.

The total number of completed and returned surveys stands at 163. The below mentioned 

results refer to previous surveys, predominantly among members of the SAGCC, conducted 

biannually since 1993.

 The perception of the current economic climate has declined from +31 points in 2010 

to 

-35 points in 2013. About twice as many companies regard the climate as “bad” when 

compared to the previous survey. This has constrained decisions on new investments 

and job creations.

 The general political and economic climate is regarded as “continuously bad” or even 

“declining”.

 Concerns about Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment have increased since 

2010. More than 60% of the respondents view B-BBEE as a costly exercise with no 

tangible benefits for their day-to-day businesses. 

 Respondents underline the lack of competence of the civil service (78% of negative 

opinions) and about the excessively high level of corruption (seen by 87% as 

“pessimistic” or “very pessimistic”).

 Violence and crime, labour conditions, productivity levels and electricity prices have also 

been growingly affecting the investment and business climates lately.

The SAGCC Index is an important tool in the analysis and portrayal of the current economic 

situation, and is interpreted in a manner similar to the “IFO Business Climate Index”. 

Based on the current trend, the SAGCC index will soon reach the level of 1998 (-57, data of 

members of the SAGCC only), its lowest point in 14 years. 

It must be noted that the survey did not take place under any specific political or economic 

circumstances, which could have influenced the results

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